AFP, PNP vow unity for clean polls
By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – The military and the police prayed and sang a children’s song yesterday as they vowed to remain united to ensure a credible and peaceful May 10 polls.
Society of the Divine Word priest Fr. Jerry Orbos led soldiers and policemen in singing “I have two hands” to remind them to be faithful to their sworn duties during the interfaith “Day of Prayer for HOPE (Honest Orderly and Peaceful Elections)” held at Camp Aguinaldo.
“Lord, use these hands to fulfill my mission. Do not allow them to be used to do something bad,” Orbos said in Filipino.
The military, led by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Gen. Delfin Bangit and the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by Director General Jesus Verzosa gamely sang the song with their hands swaying up in the air.
Another highlight of the event was the lighting of the white HOPE candle by Bangit and Verzosa to symbolize their common goal of ensuring a peaceful and honest election.
Around 5,000 uniformed personnel and representatives from the Catholic Church, Protestant sects, and Islam joined the interfaith prayer, amid fears that a faction of the military will stage a revolt if there would be massive poll fraud.
Aside from Orbos, other religious figures who participated in the event were chief air chaplain Col. Ernesto Cimatu, Bride of Christ Church pastor Rev. Marceliano Jara, AFP chief chaplain Col. Rosalindo Acacio, Jr., PNP Muslim chaplain P/C Insp. Ebra Minalang Moxsir, Army chief chaplain Col. Florentino Ngoho, Christ’s Commission Fellowship senior pastor Peter Tan-Chi, Western Mindanao Command chaplain Lt. Col. Sanuan Akkuh, Imam Council of the Philippines chairman Aleem Said Ahmad Basher, and AFP deputy chief chaplain Ramon Conde.
Meanwhile, the PNP has started deploying over 70,000 policemen to more than 36,000 voting centers nationwide to ensure peaceful and orderly election process.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Leonardo Espina said they will make sure that the deployment of troops will be completed before the week ends.
Espina added that the deployment of uniformed policemen began over the weekend and is still ongoing in various police regional offices. – Cecille Suerte Felipe